The age of railroads transformed the United States before mostly crumbling at the feet of interstate highways and commercial aviation. From it’s ruins, we now have a network of over 22,000 miles of bicycle trails thanks to efforts by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The longest such trail in the country is the 270-mile Katy Trail of Missouri. This weekend, using the Katy as our base, we explored another chunk of the planet.
In order to meet a friend, we drove to the eastern end of the trail. Klondike Park has campsites that are convenient, cheap, and well maintained. We biked the section east of there on Friday and the section west of there on Saturday. Running short car shuttles each morning allowed us to bike one-way and yet not have to carry camping gear on our bikes. In total, we covered 28 miles from Weldon Springs to Marthasville. We also covered the short walking trails at Klondike. The temperatures were mostly in the 90’s, leaving us soaked in sweat all weekend long. But the sites and activities were worth it.
Cities we passed through: Defiance, Augusta, and Dutzow.
Interesting stops: The Judgement Tree, Augusta Winery, Stone Ledge Antiques, Blumenthoff Winery, and Montelle Winery.
Strung right along the trail are an assortment of small towns,wineries, cafes, bed and breakfasts, and antique shops. At each town, there are convenient parking lots, informative maps, bathrooms, and tools for making bike repairs. The state has really done an excelent job of keeping the trail in great condition and attracting people to it. Use the website http://www.bikekatytrail.com/ to plan a trip.